The birth of a child is cause for celebration. Although it may mean some sleepless nights, some spit-up soaked shirts, and what seems like an endless marathon of diaper changing, nothing can compare to those infectious baby giggles and sweet baby snuggles. As the parent of a newborn, you have probably done lots of preparing from making sure you are well-stocked with baby supplies to reading parenting books. You may have even started on their college fund. Another area that requires your attention after the birth of a child is your health insurance. Here is what you need to know to make sure that your little one has the proper coverage.
How to Make Sure Your Baby is Covered
One important thing to know is that you do need to manually add your new bundle of joy to your insurance policy. When your child is born, and hospital bills start flowing into the insurance company indicating the baby’s arrival, the insurance company does not automatically add the new addition to the policy. Some insurance companies may see the bills and reach out to you to inquire if there is a new addition and prompt you to add them, but that will not always be the case. To ensure that your child has the proper coverage, you will want to reach out to the insurance company instead of waiting for them to contact you.
If you obtain health care through your place of business, you can reach out to the coordinator of your health plan to let them know that you have a new life to add. If you purchase insurance independently of your workplace, you can call your insurance company yourself and tell them the good news. The birth of a child qualifies as a life event, which allows you to make changes to your insurance plan even if it falls outside of the open enrollment period. Most carriers will allow you at least 30 days to add the baby to the policy. Until then, if the mother has health insurance, the little one will automatically be covered by her insurance.
One of the unexpected facets of having a new life and a new addition to your health care policy is that as the baby is a separate person from the mother, they will also have their own deductible. With two deductibles in play, this means that even if the mother has exhausted her own deductible in doctor and hospital visits leading up to the baby’s arrival, those expenses do not count toward the baby’s own deductible. Many new parents are unaware of this and not prepared for the additional cost. Your new family member will require many doctor visits in the weeks, months, and years following the birth, so expect to budget for this expense accordingly.
The fact that you will need to meet another deductible will not be the only health insurance related expense of adding a new family member if this new baby is your first. Insurance companies charge different rates to include a child than they do for just one individual or a couple. The increase in health care premium will be another expense that you need to budget for the next 18 or so years.
While our current administration has vowed to put an end to the insurance mandate, as long as it is still in place, you could face a penalty for not purchasing health insurance coverage for your baby by the end of that 30-day grace period. Apart from that fine, paying for all those doctor visits out of pocket will sure add up.
If your little one has just arrived or is coming soon, your plate is likely fuller than it has ever been. Do not let preparing your little one’s health coverage get lost in the happy chaos surrounding the birth. Make sure you get the new addition added to your policy so that you bring your full attention back to raising this new life rather than stressing about insurance.
For more information on insurance benefits after the birth of your child, call 1-844-699-6873.